Need advice

Old 01-30-05, 05:38 PM
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Question Need advice

Think my energy bills are running high..Need some help in deciding between whether to do a window's glass replacement or get blinds/shades installed. Most of the windows currently do not have any blinds/shades, but have curtains though. Somebody suggested having blinds/shades can also reduce energy bills.Also need advice what are the best options and brands available for both?
Old 01-30-05, 06:10 PM
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High energy prices really hit people hard in the wintertime. When putting money into improvements (in hopes of lowering fuel bills and reclaiming that "investment" at some point) there are many things to consider.

First, how bad are the windows? Are they extremely drafty? If so, cheap repairs might include recaulking frames and reglazing glass. 3M window insulating kits are also a low cost "fix". Replacing glass or replacing the entire window is also an option, but an expensive one- and it could take many years to get that money back in energy savings.

I have heard about miniblinds with low-e coatings, but I'm very skeptical about their benefits, to put it mildly. So I won't even comment on that option.

I think you should keep in mind, however, that windows are probably responsible for just a portion of your energy bill. Heat rises, and thus could be going "right out the roof". The best thing for you to check is how much insulation you have in your roof. Often, adding 12" of blow-in celulose is the most cost-effective way of reducing energy costs. I would take a few minutes to check out the attic before spending any money on your windows.

Insulation is almost always the best investment in reducing energy costs. That means money spent on insulation will find its way back into your pocket faster than any other improvement. Just something to keep in mind.
Old 01-30-05, 07:20 PM
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After sealing any leaks in and around windows and doors, look to other insulation needs in the attic as was mentioned. In fact, replacing windows solely for the purpose of energy conservation is not recommended, especially until other remedies have been implemented.

Replacing windows is rarely cost-effective based soley on energy-savings

Some evaluative information on insulation and other relevant points by the Department of Energy gives you some background information:

Hope this helps.

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